Clydebank 4
Largs Thistle 0
South Challenge Cup (3rd Round)

4 - 0
 Largs Thistle

South Challenge Cup (3rd Round)
Saturday, November 19th, 2022
Holm Park. Att. 392
2:00 PM Kick-off

Matt Niven (5)
Ciaran Mulcahy (31)
Nicky Little (65)
Connor Higgins (76)

Team Managers
Gordon Moffat
Stuart Davidson

Starting Eleven
1 Jamie Donnelly
2 Adam Hodge
26 Aidan McDonald
5 Jamie Darroch
4 Matt Niven
6 Frazer Johnstone
7 Lee Gallacher
8 Joe Slattery
9 Ciaran Mulcahy
10 Nicky Little
19 Josh Weir
Jamie Walker 21
George Sewell 2
Blair Devine 3
Cory Hughes 17
Ryan McCreath 5
Stuart Faulds 6
Louis Thompson 7
Simon McBryde 8
David Ramsay 9
Dario Nimmo 10
Lewis Davidson 11

16 Chris Black
27 Connor Higgins
20 Kyle King
22 Creag Little
15 Oisin McHugh
24 Hamish McKinlay
17 Larry McMahon
Sean McLeod 12
Connor McGoldrick 14
Jamie McGowan 1

Oisin McHugh for Ciaran Mulcahy (60)
Larry McMahon for Joe Slattery (75)
Connor Higgins for Nicky Little (75)
Hamish McKinlay for Josh Weir (78)
Chris Black for Lee Gallacher (78)

Adam Hodge (35)
Aidan McDonald (52)
Larry McMahon (88)
George Sewell (60)
David Ramsay (72)
Cory Hughes (88)
Simon McBryde (88)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Duncan Williams (Referee)
Colin Drummond & Mark Daly (Assistants)

Match Report

Clydebank moved into the last 32 of the South Challenge Cup with what looks like a fairly comprehensive 4-0 disposal of fellow Premier League side Largs Thistle at Holm Park.

The Bankies had earned their two goal lead at the break, however Largs will no doubt feel that they didn’t get the breaks in front of goal in the first twenty minutes of the second half at a crucial stage in the match with keeper Jamie Donnelly making a triumphant return to first team action with some excellent saves.

Had Largs pulled a goal back at that point, they would have been right back in it, but Nicky Little’s 30 yard wonder goal after 65 minutes finally ended Thistle’s resistance, and Connor Higgins put some icing on the cake with a good striker’s finish.

There was a lot to like about the Bankies formation today, which resembled something more like a traditional 4-4-2 with Nicky Little pushed into a more advanced role, and looking more like his old self.

Frazer Johnstone, who had a great game, anchored the midfield with Joe Slattery. It is risky to play with just two in the middle of the field nowadays as most teams will have three in there, but it is offset by making you more offensive in the wide areas, and the decision to play Josh Weir on the wing was long overdue and paid off handsomely with two assists. His pace is devastating, and he goes by defenders like they are not there, and this was a big success today.

It was good to see the double act of Darroch and Niven back together in central defence – the first time the two have started in the same match since the start of August. And it was Niven who got the Bankies off to the ideal start with a trademark headed goal from a Lee Gallacher corner after just five minutes.

This was Big Matt’s 10th goal for the club in just over 50 games which is quite a return for a defender.

Largs are a useful side as their recent win at Darvel will testify, however they are a bit threadbare at the moment in terms of numbers due to injuries. Their line up still had a solid base with the excellent Faulds and McBryde in the middle of the pitch and Ramsay looking a useful signing up front.

The Ayrshire side had good possession after they fell behind, but the Bankies were looking pretty secure at the back, and the early goal meant the home side could invite their opponents on to them.

The goal scoring chances were all happening down at the Largs end, and Nicky Little was the one getting on the end of them. He almost diverted a Lee Gallacher free kick into the net, then a slide rule pass from McDonald found the front man free at the edge of the box. With one touch he tried a cute lob over McGowan, but just went on the wrong side of the crossbar.

The second goal arrived after the half hour, and it was all about Josh Weir beating his man on the wing and delivering a perfect cross into the box. Ciaran Mulcahy was lurking behind Blair Devine who couldn’t quite get his head on the ball, and the Bankies striker was slightly taken aback at this, and he “professionally” chested the ball over the line.

Nicky Little came close again to grabbing a third Bankies goal before the break, when he ghosted beyond the defensive line to direct a header from a delightful Lee Gallacher chip, but was just off target. This is the kind of thing the Little has not being doing enough of in recent times, and it was encouraging to see him getting into these goalscoring positions.

Largs had barely a shot at goal in the first half, but with it being a cup tie, they were almost certainly going to up the ante after the restart to get back into the game.

They really brought their game to the Bankies in first twenty minutes, and they will be ruing their misses through a combination of bad luck and great goalkeeping.

After 53 minutes, Davidson skinned Hodge on the left wing an pushed the ball to McBryde at the edge of the box. His first time shot was beautifully struck with the outside of his boot, but the ball smacked the base of the upright and bounced away across the goal.

Then Faulds tested Donnelly with a left footed curler that the keeper held well on his right hand side. This was quickly followed with McBryde playing in Ramsay on the right channel. McDonald flew into block the shot, but the ball bounced up towards the goal. With Donnelly grounded, he did well to swing an arm and bat the ball away.

The Bankies were not breaking away in the same manner they did in the first half, though when they did they looked dangerous.

Largs hopes of turning the game around finally ended when they lost a third after 65 minutes. It was deserved goal for Nicky Little who pounced on a loose ball 30 yards from goal. Little likes to try these long range efforts when the ball sits up for him, trying to catch the keeper off-guard, and in fairness he has had some success. This was one of those moments when the ball dipped just perfectly over the goalkeeper and under the bar for a perfect shot.

Largs never gave up, but it wasn’t going to be their day, not even for a consolation strike. A first time volley from Ramsay from ten yards, which looked a certain goal all the way, saw Jamie Donnelly produce a top drawer save diving full length to his right hand side to push the ball away.

Clydebank could possibly have added more goals to their tally, as the fight faded from Largs. Weir ballooned the ball over the bar from a good position, and sub Oisin McHugh hit the post late on.

The final goal came from another piece of strong running from Josh Weir. He hit the bye line and swept the ball across the six yard box for Connor Higgins with his back to goal. The striker showed what good instincts he has by swivelling onto his right foot and crashing the ball into the net.

There was a good attendance inside Holm Park today, helped partly by the Premier League now paused with the World Cup about to start. Results like this will hopefully make some of these people come back. We were overdue to try something different at home where we have struggled in the last 18 months, and it was very encouraging against a Largs side who are no mugs.

There is no game next week as the Scottish Cup takes precedence, so it will be back to league business in a fortnight when Kilwinning Rangers come calling at Holm Park.

Match report written by Stuart McBay

Squad Statistics (as at November 19th, 2022)

2022-23 All Time
League Cups All
Jamie Donnelly (GK) 3 - 1 - 44 -
Adam Hodge 7 - 4 - 401
Aidan McDonald 5 - 51101
Jamie Darroch 713 - 16915
Matt Niven 41325210
Frazer Johnstone 915 - 541
Lee Gallacher 9 - 516811
Joe Slattery 7 - 425612
Ciaran Mulcahy 91544514
Nicky Little 7455205124
Josh Weir 8354137
Oisin McHugh (sub) 4 - 2 - 39 -
Larry McMahon (sub) 8 - 3 - 11 -
Chris Black (sub) 413114315
Connor Higgins (sub) 9343136
Hamish McKinlay (sub) 5 - 424811

Recent Results

League results since Clydebank's last match
8th November 2022
Irvine Meadow1-0Kirk Rob Roy
9th November 2022
Darvel1-2Largs Thistle
Glenafton Ath1-1Hurlford United
Kilwinning Rgrs0-6Auchinleck Talb
12th November 2022
Darvel4-3Kirk Rob Roy
19th November 2022
Arthurlie2-1Beith Juniors

League Table (as at November 19th, 2022)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Darvel 9 6 1 2 +14 19
2. Pollok 10 4 4 2 +5 16
3. Irvine Meadow 8 5 1 2 +4 16
4. Hurlford United 10 4 3 3 +4 15
5. Auchinleck Talb 8 4 2 2 +6 14
6. Cumnock 8 4 2 2 +3 14
7. Beith Juniors 9 4 2 3 +2 14
8. Kirk Rob Roy 10 4 1 5 +4 13
9. Largs Thistle 10 3 4 3 -4 13
10. Arthurlie 9 5 0 4 +5 12
11. Clydebank 9 4 0 5 0 12
12. Troon 8 4 0 4 -4 12
13. Kilwinning Rgrs 7 3 1 3 -3 10
14. Glenafton Ath 10 2 4 4 -4 10
15. Cambuslang R 9 2 1 6 -7 4
16. Petershill 10 0 2 8 -25 2

Point deductions:
Arthurlie: -3
Cambuslang Rangers: -3